A lot of musicians can be accused of wearing their heart on their sleeve. Not the Bravery's Sam Endicott. He wears his on his knuckles.
When MTV News caught up with Endicott and the rest of the Bravery at a Staten Island photo shoot for Stuff magazine, he had eight giant letters scrawled on his knuckles. They read, from right to left, "L-I-O-N-I-Z-E-D."
"It means 'to be treated as an object of fascination,' " he explained. "Which I feel is pretty apropos for us lately."
He's not kidding. In recent weeks, the Bravery have become embroiled in a high-profile feud with fellow synth-rockers the Killers (see "Killers' To-Do List: Lawsuit, Long-Form Video, Beef With The Bravery"). They've also been the subject of a particularly nasty article in the New York Post, scored a #18 debut on the Billboard albums chart and saw their stock amongst New York's hipster elite plummet faster than Enron's. But it's not like Endicott really cares about any of this.
"I remember when the Strokes came out, the backlash had already started. People went from being like, 'They're so cool' to 'We hate them so much,' and their album hadn't even come out yet," he laughed. "I don't understand how people can like a band, love them and then, two months later, when everyone likes it, they hate it.
"We're polarizing, I know that," he continued. "But I'd rather be hated than be a band where everyone is like, 'Yeah, they're OK,' and then a month later you don't think about them. There are a lot of bands out there that sound like ringtones, where you hear it and forget about it. We'd rather be a band that some people are going to passionately hate than be a ringtone band."
They're also making a major move at becoming serious artists, selecting the upbeat-yet-somber "Fearless" as the second single off their debut album. The track recalls the paranoid, post-9/11 climate that swept not only New York, but the entire country.
"We wrote these songs living in New York after September 11," Endicott explained, "and I deal with depression and anxiety during my life, so it was heightened during that period. It felt like it was engulfing the whole country and everyone I knew. So it's about trying to deal with it and go on with your life."
And what better way to capture all that angst than with a video featuring plenty of sweet powerboats? The band just wrapped production on the video for "Fearless," directed by Diane Martel (Snoop Dogg, Avril Lavigne). Martel decided to strap the guys to powerboats and have them perform the song while being whipped around Los Angeles' San Pedro Harbor. Endicott isn't exactly sure how the video relates to the song's message, but he knows he had a super-good time making it.
"Shooting 'Fearless' was probably the most fun day of my life," he said. "When we make videos, we think, 'What would an 8-year-old want to see?' For the last one, we were like, 'Yeah, dominoes. Eight-year-olds like dominoes,' " he said. "Then we thought, 'Eight-year-olds want to see bands strapped to the front of speedboats playing instruments while they drive 50 miles an hour over water!' So that's what we did. I'm not going to lie, though. I was kind of sh--ting my pants."